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Techie1

Employment rights issue should be revisited after 'insulting' pay award

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Techie1    56

Home Office accused of playing politics with officer remuneration.

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John Apter pictured speaking at the Police Federation Conference last year

Officers should be consulted on whether they want full employment rights, a prominent staff association representative says.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter has labelled the government’s rejection of the police remuneration review body’s recommendation for a two per cent pay rise next year as “shameful”.

Instead, the Home Office is giving officers a one per cent rise, and a one-off, unfunded, bonus.

Mr Apter said: “They are playing politics with police officer's pay. It's shameful. We need to look at the detail of this announcement but it is clear that there is nothing to celebrate.

"Officers will see this for what it is which is an insult considering officers have had in real terms a 15 per cent cut in pay since 2010.

"Police officers have no employment rights so are limited in how they react to such a kick in the teeth. The government know this and have taken advantage of it.

"With a heavy heart I feel the time has come to ask our members what their views are on police officers having full employment rights.

"This is something I will raise with the national Police Federation of England and Wales colleagues in the coming days."

Mr Apter intends to stand for election for national chairman of the Fed when rule changes allow him to.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd claimed: "This award strikes a fair balance for police forces, officers and taxpayers. 

"We want to reward and attract the very best police officers within the resources we have, whilst making the right decisions for the economy overall."

National Fed chairman Steve White did not rule out a conversation about industrial rights last year when asked what he would do if the government ignored the recommendations of the review body.

At the time, he said: “We put a lot of work into our submission but if its recommendations are not taken up and if the system comes into question as an organisation we may have to do things differently.”

While Mr White and General Secretary Andy Fittes are both due to leave their posts at the end of the year, the next remuneration review submission is likely to have been completed by then.

On Tuesday the Fed says it was looking closely at the PRRB report and would provide further updates soon.

In a 2013 ballot, only 42 per cent of Fed members cast a vote on the issue of industrial rights. Of those who did more than 80 per cent said they wanted the organisation to pursue a legal challenge to try to secure workers’ rights – such as the ability to strike.

The Fed said it would not act on the issue because the turnout was too low.

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